TV: What’s New for 2018
by Ralph Lucas – Publisher
(January 3, 2018 – Toronto, ON) With the silly season now behind us, and frost sneaking into our homes if not our hearts, the serious business of staying warm and watching TV is at hand as the networks debut new series, or new seasons of past hit shows or relaunch those shows that took a break over the holidays and are now ready to return, replacing the Fireplace Channel which failed to keep us warm.
The first show on our list is Global TV’s Mary Kills People, which has its 2nd season debut tonight, Wednesday, January 3 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Caroline Dhavernas is back, reprising her role as the title character Mary. The network is saying this season promises to be darker and more intense as Mary becomes even more entangled in her illegal work, risking her family and medical career. The series, which is about assisted death, not murder, welcomes actress Rachelle Lefevre to the cast. She plays the mysterious Olivia Bloom, a woman with ties to Mary’s past.
Next up on the calendar is season two of the mini-series Cardinal, which starts anew tomorrow, Thursday, January 4th on CTV. Based on the books of Canadian author Giles Blunt his character of police detective John Cardinal is played by American actor Billy Campbell (pictured above) while partner Lise Delorme is played by Karine Vanasse.
Cardinal is set in the fictional Algonquin Bay, which Blunt named his version of the real locations of North Bay and Sudbury, Ontario where the series is shot. Cardinal, the detective, seems distant, distracted, almost reclusive and unable to connect with his partner, who seems to need a connection in order to function within the confines of a professional relationship where trust is a necessary component behind the idea of being part of a team. The main cast remains in place for each season but the supporting actors change for each mini-series.
Season one took place during winter. This season begins in early summer where the blackflies of Algonquin Bay aren’t the only ones out for blood. The opening episode is titled Red and Cardinal and Delorme find themselves investigating the case of a young woman with a gunshot wound to the head. They quickly uncover a series of disturbing, ritualistic killings that may be connected to their young victim and Cardinal sets out to identify the young woman before her attacker strikes again.
For those who have complained about the blandness of Canadian TV production, Cardinal is crafted to a level equal too and in places better than foreign series such as Broadchurch or Wallander without getting as extreme as the often bizarre Fortitude. The series distributor, Entertainment One (eOne) has successfully licensed the series internationally to more than 100 territories including the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Australia to name just a few.
Tuesday nights on CBC’s schedule has been devoted to original comedy and it has been very successful for Canada’s national network. January 9th brings the return of the Roses as they continue to make the most of life in Schitt’s Creek. Season 4 brings another 13 episodes of the 30-minute series costarring Eugene Levy, Daniel Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Annie Murphy, Chris Elliott, Jennifer Robertson and Emily Hampshire.
Catherine Reitman’s irreverent and sometimes risqué 30-minute comedy Workin’ Moms also kicks off its 2nd season on January 9th.
If you’re looking for new episodes of Rick Mercer Reports, production resumes in mid-January and the show returns on Tuesday, January 16, continuing its 15th and last season. Fans of Kim’s Convenience should note the 2nd season aired its last episode on December 19th.
CBC launches a new crime drama series Burden of Truth on Wednesday, January 10th. The 10 episode series stars Kristin Kreuk as a big city lawyer who returns to her hometown to take on what she thinks is a simple case. Of course we already know nothing on TV crime shows is ever simple.
The Detective is an 8-part series based on true crimes recreating real investigations of Canadian detectives. It also makes its debut on Wednesday, January 10th.
Looking beyond this month, something to look forward to is Allan Hawco’s new drama mini-series titled Caught. Adapted from Lisa Moore’s acclaimed novel set in 1978 about a convicted drug dealer who attempts one more deal after a daring prison break, the five 60-minute episodes costars Eric Johnson and Paul Gross and will premiere on Monday, February 26th.
Ralph Lucas is the founder and publisher of Northernstars.ca. He began writing about film and reviewing movies while in radio in Montreal in the mid-1970s.